In a statement to the New York Post on Monday, Halls — who handed producer and star Alec Baldwin the gun that discharged on Oct. 21, according to a police affidavit — said he hopes the incident causes the film industry to “reevaluate its values and practices.”
“Halyna Hutchins was not just one of the most talented people I’ve worked with, but also a friend,” Halls told the Post. “I’m shocked and saddened by her death. It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again.”
Halls’ role as an assistant director on the film has been brought into question in the aftermath of the shooting, with several reports emerging about his conduct on past sets. On Friday, a “Rust” crew member told Variety that he had warned the film’s producers about Halls’ previous issues with on-set safety.
Halls did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
During the filming of “One Way,” an independent film shot in Georgia this February for which Halls was the AD, the crew member said he witnessed an unsafe situation in which cars were being driven in an open field by people who were not trained stunt drivers.
“’That man is a liability,’” the crew member recalled saying to the producers. “He’s going to fucking kill someone someday, and you’re going to be responsible.”
According to a search warrant filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, Halls said he should have checked the weapon for live rounds before handing it to Baldwin.
“David advised when Hannah showed him the firearm before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds,” the affidavit stated. “He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum.”